A Case For Giving Your Heart Away

couple laughing in hay field

Sometimes you go through a terrible heartbreak. Like finding out your first boyfriend was cheating on you with his ex the whole time. Then add the ghosting, rejections, the almost-but-not-enoughs, and you become jaded and cynical and question if love is even real.

Not me. I am in love with love and will never lose hope in finding someone who loves and accepts me.

You’d think a young New York girl who has been in too much serious dramatic, fucked up shit for a 23-year old would just give up already. Yet here I am.

When I met Kyle, I didn’t know what I initially wanted from him. I always ultimately want a long-term relationship, but Kyle was different. We had been speaking for 8 months and 8 months is too long for me to wait for a first date.

But it finally happened and we were inseparable. We talked about the future. We spent every free moment together. We had common interests and ideas and values. I thought to myself, “this is what dating is supposed to be like. This is what a relationship is supposed to be like.”

It wasn’t perfect. We had tension. I let my anxiety get the best of me and he let grief get the best of him. But I never thought that would get in the way of the connection we had. I had never spent so much time, so quickly with another person. It felt right.

That’s what’s funny about relationships. You can feel one way and your partner can feel the other. Feelings aren’t always reciprocal, no matter how strong they are.

So when I got a call from Kyle saying he didn’t want to see me anymore, I was shocked. I expected to see him in the next few hours, but then it all vanished. All of our plans, all of my expectations, the whole of our relationship.

I didn’t know Kyle for that long. While confused and wishing he would change his mind, I couldn’t control the way he feels.

The only thing I could control was respecting his decision.

Did I think it was the right one? Definitely not. Was I sad and hurt about it? Absolutely. I spent the next days — currently — thinking about what I’ve done wrong, what I could have done differently, what I lost by creating expectations and a future, and blaming myself for everything.

He said it just wasn’t worth it anymore.

The only thing that I could deduct from that reasoning was that wasn’t worth it anymore.

I don’t know if I could ever blame luck, timing, or circumstances for a failed relationship. It’s much easier to take the blame on myself, because then it’s in my control and I’m not helpless. Because if I want to make something happen, I try my damn hardest and I don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of it.

But when I think about it, life isn’t all about having agency and creating your own path.

Opportunities, chance, and timing affects all areas of life, and… that’s just not your fault. It’s not in your control.

The next day I came to work, crying, and my boss told me something I’ve heard from so many people before: “Don’t give your heart out to people who don’t deserve it.”

While I understand that this advice is for my well-being, to keep me from being hurt, and a lot lower-risk than my current mindset going into relationships, that will never be how I love.

I believe that everyone deserves love. While I am anxious and don’t have the highest self-esteem, I still believe that I deserve love. And I will never live my life not giving everything I have to get something I want. I will never live my life half-assed. The saying goes, “you get what you give” and I give it all because I want it all.

I can’t blame Kyle for not wanting to be with me the same way I wanted to be with him whether it’s because he wouldn’t or he couldn’t. None of that even matters because the reality is, he just didn’t.

But I am never going to stop hoping that someone will feel the way I feel about them.

I suppose that means I’ll get hurt a lot along the way. A lot more than someone who guards themselves off to avoid the hurt. But I can’t — I won’t stop giving my heart away.

My heart isn’t a prize to be earned, it’s something I want to share with someone who shares theirs with me.